The Wrong Approach to Drugs

In June of 1971, President Richard Nixon declared that drug abuse was “public enemy number one” and increased federal funding for drug-control agencies to sweep the streets and for drug-treatment efforts. This led to the creation of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in 1973. Nixon’s War on Drugs was relatively small when compared to that of the Reagan Administration which favored criminal punishment of drug users, over treatment. This led to a massive increase in the American incarceration rate especially for non-violent offenders, 50,000 in 1980 and 400,000 in 1997. The media also played a huge role in the “war” with its constant coverage and its love affair with Nancy Reagan’s privately fu

The Tragedy of Wars

The commencement of a war can happen unexpectedly anywhere around the world. A person can wake up one morning to start their day by going to work or taking their kids to school then suddenly on the news they hear a war has started. It may have started in their country, in another country or their country helping their allies in a war. A country going into war results to negative consequences that effects the nation on multiple aspects. After the war has ended, post war effects can result into short-term or long-term damages within a country and its people. Soldiers and veterans who have fought on the battlefield suffer long-term effects that need to be cared for due to physical and psycholog

Second Chance: Make It More Than Just Words

Imagine making the worst choice or series of choices in your life. Imagine causing enormous grief and harm to those around you as well as yourself. Imagine losing everything, believing there is no future, that you are a lost cause. Imagine you find yourself sitting in a prison cell, having hit rock bottom and believing your life is over. Then, something changes, and you very slowly start to believe that maybe, just maybe, you have a place in this world still. Perhaps there is good left for you to do in this life, things to accomplish, a new perspective to be had. And so the struggle begins to hold on to that small seed of hope, to keep that flame of possibility and hope and that magical word

A Hidden Cause of Homelessness: Mental Illness

“At the root of this dilemma is the way we view mental health in this country. Whether an illness affects your heart, your leg or your brain, it’s still an illness, and there should be no distraction” (Obama & Jones, 2010). First Lady Michelle Obama once wrote this to explain the stigma surrounding mental illness in the United States. While people from a multitude of backgrounds have been diagnosed with them, the prevalence of mental disorders amongst the homeless, in particular, is staggering. As reported by the National Coalition for the Homeless, approximately 20 to 25% of US homeless people are considered to be severely mentally ill. When analyzing the entire population, only 6% of the n

Volunteering Season Isn’t Just During the Holiday Season

Volunteering is a great way to take care of your community, and it is important that when you choose to become a volunteer you make sure your time is being used effectively so that your impact can be greater. There are numerous organizations across the nation that need help, so whatever date and time you pick to volunteer will be appreciated. But while setting aside time to give back is a nice gesture, the focus seems to only be prominent during the holiday season. Giving a turkey during Thanksgiving or making a meal on Christmas will definitely help someone in the community, but more than 46 million people depend on soap kitchens and pantries, so people still struggle after the cheerful tim

Where Do We Draw The Line On How We Treat People Who Are Different?

Mental Illness and Homelessness “We can’t make ourselves” would normally serve its purpose as a grade-school solution for quelling notable differences in appearance. It holds on to the very idea that despite there being something noticeably different about someone, physical attributes carry little value when assessing a person in their entirety. It’s as if little Suzy felt justified when her mother used this very saying to answer her daughter’s question of whether or not her friend, Polly, would still be fun to play with, despite having brown eyes. So, when the variables are changed, would we still exercise the same amount of contentment when given “we can’t make ourselves” as an answer? Sad

Controversy Surrounding SNAP Choices

SNAP is the United States’ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which seeks to provide financial assistance for low-income individuals throughout the nation. Food stamp programs have been established in the United States since the mid 1960’s, when they were said to assist in the agricultural industry in America, as well as spread higher levels of nutritional opportunities to families. The basic requirements for eligibility in the state of Florida include a maximum income of $23,760 for a single person household, with an added $8,320 per additional member of the same household. In recent times, there has been a noticeably large increase in the controversy surrounding SNAP. Critics argue

Evicted With No Place To Go

Far too often cities and states try to deal with the homeless population with an out of sight and out of mind mentality, a tactic that solves nothing other than forces those with nowhere to go out of areas where they are considered a problem or a nuisance. On May 1, 2018, Caltrans, California’s transit agency along with Highway Patrol and a group of social workers evicted approximately 60 people from a homeless encampment off of California’s Highway 80 near Coachella. When all of the agencies arrived they told the transients that they had only a couple of days to clean up their shelters and remove their belongings before the site was bulldozed. Anything that remained would be buried. Just pr

Homelessness Among LGBT+ Youth

According to the True Colors Fund―an organization devoted to ending homelessness among youth in the LGBT community―young people who do not identify as cisgender and/or heterosexual are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than those who do. Additionally, while LGBT individuals make up only approximately 7% of the general youth population, they make up an estimated 40% of the homeless youth. As a queer student myself, this is an issue that I am personally very passionate about. As times change and our society becomes more accepting than ever, it is important that we do not overlook the tragedies and discrimination still present in our world. A close friend of mine was thrown out of her

Bullycide: The New Generation of Bullying

Bullycide is the new term to describe today's generation of relentless bullying amongst teens and children that is leading to suicide. Studies have been conducted about the relationship between bullying and suicide on how a victim of bullying has had suicidal thoughts. Teens and children who face bullying live in constant fear for their lives thinking they have no one to go to for support. Victims believe the only way to end their bullying is by taking their own life. In the United States, there has been many recent cases of teens and children being bullied at school or online that causes them to take their own lives. Teens and children are often bullied due to gender, race, physical feature

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